The Polygamist's Daughter

Stories, Reflections and Conclusions of Life on the Inside


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Love Notes

I recently received a love note from my friend and soul sister Kristyn Decker. (I only use this term for very special people I feel infinitely connected to – sorry, I am not any version of LDS aka Mormon, and I am not your sister in Christ, so please don’t assume that you can call me sister – it’s one of my pet peeves, quite possibly the only one to be honest.)  On a funny little side note, Kristyn and I discovered we were almost sister wives in the alternate reality I chose to leave.

“Though I’m several years older than Victoria, she and I were raised in the same polygamist group, yet in different states.

I left polygamy and my husband a few months before I turned 50, and began writing many vignettes about my life, and then published Fifty Years in Polygamy: Big Secrets and Little White Lies in April 2012.

Victoria and I met on line via our similar goals, as we were becoming published authors, advocates, leaders and educators in behalf of those who are still in, and leaving polygamy as well as other religious fear based dogma. Having the pleasure of Victoria’s company at our house for a few days was a gift from the Universe. We traded books and became re-acquainted. We each found another soul sister who emulated the process of creating an abundant life through love, light and joy.

While reading her book, I realized she had superbly described the spiritual process of my departure from polygamy as if she’d interviewed me for weeks on end. All that I hadn’t and couldn’t define—through her wisdom and insight she was able to. She spoke of the true principles that can guide human beings from the confines of religious dogma to discovering and honoring their own souls.

I know Victoria’s talents and gifts are true. She inspires me every day because of her consistent positive attitude and compassionate way she guides and teaches others to do the same.

Namaste, Victoria! Thanks for sharing you gifts with those who are receptive and ready to receive them.

Love,

Kristyn Decker”

And by the way, Kristyn’s book is fabulous for anyone who wants to know what it is really like be in a polygamist marriage. One that she chose of her own free will, well, as free as it could be with religious beliefs behind it. You can learn more about Kristyn, her work and her book at http://fiftyyearsinpolygamy.com/


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Recovering from Spiritual Abuse

I define religious abuse as physical, sexual and human rights abuses that are justified by religious dogma and religious opportunists. Spiritual abuse is abuse of the human spirit and exists within many of our beliefs in the form of fear, which is often disguised as love. These beliefs prevent us from connecting to ourselves and to Spirit, and prevent us from experiencing unconditional love. These fear-based beliefs result in trauma that manifest in the same way as emotional abuse, leaving individuals who are filled with shame, guilt, resentment and depression. Our beliefs teach us we are born sinners, that we are to be ashamed of ourselves for our actions, that we don’t deserve to be in the presence of God and that we can’t possibly live up to God’s expectations of us, and so on. These beliefs not only traumatize us emotionally, they cause trauma to the soul and affect our beliefs about our soul’s worth.

We are told to believe in an unconditionally loving God, yet in the same token we are given a long list of conditions under which God will love us. We are told that we are separate from God and we are separate from love, and that both need to be painfully earned outside of ourselves through our actions. Most of us have been taught to love each other as God loves us. Our understanding of God’s love is conditional; therefore our love of others is conditional. We have been taught to love each other as we love ourselves, yet fear, guilt, shame, resentment and judgment about our own worth is reflected in the judgments we have toward others. How can we possibly love each other without condition when we don’t have unconditional love for ourselves?

The self-loathing that is induced by our fear-based beliefs causes spiritual trauma.  In order to heal this trauma we must first recognize the difference between spirituality and religion. Spirit is energy, and spirituality is the energetic essence of who we are. Connecting to spirituality is learning to connect to who we really are, deep within the core of our being, and understanding our true self. It is that part of us that is all-knowing and is connected to Infinite Intelligence, not the fear filled beliefs in our mind. Our beliefs are a result of messages we have picked up throughout our lifetime and we assumed were real. Once we learn to analyze our beliefs and see how they resonate deep within us, we can determine which beliefs are in alignment with our inner truth.

Recovering from spiritual abuse can be a long and often painful process because it causes us to reevaluate everything we think we know. As we peel off the layers of fear, face the source of the pain and learn to change our perceptions of our life experiences, the trauma associated with our beliefs begin to lift away. Love is the energy that heals all things and when we face our fears with love and compassion, our fears no longer have any control in our life. Every belief about who we think we are, why we are here and what is expected of us will come under scrutiny. Only when we do the inner work can we truly know our own individual journey, our own unique spiritual experience and our own path.  All transformation must begin within ourselves.

It is my understanding that we have come to a place in our collective evolution where we can comprehend the mind, body and soul connection, and see how soul trauma manifests as physical disease. Just as psychological and emotional abuse leads to physical disease, so does spiritual abuse.  And just as psychotherapy eventually became recognized as a legitimate form of treatment, I feel that spiritual therapy will someday be recognized. While some may claim that this therapy is already being provided at church, there is often a hidden agenda, which is to propagate the very beliefs in which the abuse occurred. We cannot heal the damage to our mind, heart, soul or body by repeating old patterns. As a result of this understanding we will see the emergence of more professionals such as Judith Orloff, M.D. and other enlightened therapists. This emerging field of professionally trained experts can, and will, bring about the healing of humanity, and assist the global transformation from a world based in fear to a world based in love.


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Peanut Butter & Honey

Religion and spirituality are like peanut butter and honey. They have been sandwiched together for so long than most people don’t recognize they are two separate and distinct flavors. Religion is the peanut butter while spirituality is the honey. The flavor of some peanut butters can be so overwhelming that the honey is next to impossible to find, as was the religion I was raised with.

So many of us have been sold on the belief that there is only one right way to God. I was raised, as many were, with the belief that God is judgmental. That we have to earn the right to be in presence of God and God’s love is conditional. That God is a sexist and a racist, and only recognizes those who follow the right creed. My religion taught that our way was the one and only true religion of God and all others were mere mockery. In my childhood religion followers were taught that in order to prove themselves worthy to be in the presence of God they must sacrifice worldly happiness and they must live polygamy. Anything else will lead to an eternity of servitude to those who did earn the right to God.

The belief that there is only one right way to God is the dogma that controls the minds, hearts, souls, bodies and money of humanity and prevents people from finding their true connection to Spirit and their own divinity. It is the overpowering goo that keeps many from finding their own inner truth. Is this to say that all religion is wrong? Of course not. At the core of every religion there are spiritual truths; some religious teachings are simply more difficult to navigate through than others.

Those religions that fundamentally prevent people from accessing real spirituality are losing their control. There are masses of people who are walking away from the archaic beliefs about who God expects them to be. They are walking away from the fear based beliefs that have kept them from real connection to Spirit. They are recognizing the greed, control, abuse and deception that permeates much of religion. But many have not yet learned how to separate spirituality from religion, believing they are one and the same. They are floundering in the space between religion and spirituality hoping to find a deeper meaning for their existence. Many feel a sense of guilt for not believing in the God and religion they have were told to believe in, even when deep within themselves those beliefs don’t resonate with their soul.

It is my intent to teach people how to find the sweetness of spirituality without the overpowering control of religion. To separate the peanut butter from the honey. To gently open them up and guide them inward where God has always been and does not need to be earned or proven worthy of.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIaoC9liMj8&feature=youtu.be